Polish language

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Polish ( język polski )

Spoken in

PolandPoland Poland , Lithuania , Czech Republic , Ukraine , Belarus , Germany , United Kingdom , France , Ireland , United States , Canada , Brazil , Argentina , Australia , Israel
Czech RepublicCzech Republic 
United KingdomUnited Kingdom 
United StatesUnited States 
speaker 48 to 55 million
Official status
Official language in PolandPoland Poland European Union
European UnionEuropean Union 
Recognized minority /
regional language in
BelarusBelarus Belarus Latvia Lithuania Romania ( Bukovina ) Slovakia ( Western Carpathians ) Czech Republic ( Czech Silesia ) Hungary Ukraine ( Western Ukraine )
Czech RepublicCzech Republic 
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3


Languages ​​and dialects in East Central Europe (Polish: light, medium and dark green tones)

The Polish language (in Polish język polski , polska mowa or polszczyzna ) is a West Slavic language from the Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages . Kashubian and Sorbian are among their closest relatives, and there are also great similarities to Czech and Slovak .

In addition to its status as the official language of Poland , it has been one of the 24 official languages ​​of the European Union since 2004  . With around 48 to 55 million speakers, Polish is the Slavic language with the second largest number of speakers after Russian and ahead of Ukrainian .

Polish is written using the Latin alphabet , supplemented by the letters Ą , Ć , Ę , Ł , Ń , Ó , Ś , Ź and Ż . With the care of the Polish language is Polish Language Council commissioned. The science that deals with the Polish language, literature and culture is called Polonistics .


The oldest Polish written documents known today are names and glosses in Latin documents, especially in the Bull of Gniezno by Pope Innocent II from 1136, in which almost 400 individual Polish names of places and people appear. The first written complete sentence, however, was found in the chronicle of the Heinrichau monastery near Breslau . Among the entries from the year 1270 there is a request from a man to his wife who mills. Day ut ia pobrusa. a ti poziwai (nowadays Daj, ać ja pobruszę, a ty poczywaj ), which roughly translates as: "Let me grind now, and you can rest."

The Bogurodzica  - the first Polish hymn, the "Holy Cross Sermons" and the "Gnesen Sermons" are among the earliest monuments of the Polish language . Later religious texts were also translated from Latin into Polish, for example the Florian Psalter from the 14th century . In the 15th century , the influence of Czech was reduced and written Polish emancipated itself from Latin. After Polish was mainly written by clergy until the 16th century, it subsequently established itself among the nobility and the bourgeoisie.

Modern Polish literary language developed in the 16th century on the basis of dialects spoken in Wielkopolska - the area around Gniezno and Poznan in western Poland. The Eulenspiegel and Chronicle literature by Marcin Bielski and the prose writings by Mikołaj Rej date from this period . Their high linguistic level suggests a long-standing tradition of Polish at the royal court , in state administration as well as in secular and church rhetoric. In the 16th century the Polish language reached a level that made it one of the most important languages ​​in Central Europe because of its richness and flexibility . The educated of the Renaissance fought for the further development of Polish and its assertion over Latin. “The peoples outside should know that the Poles do not have a goose language, but their own language!” (“Goose language” is Latin here) was the famous maxim of Mikołaj Rej, who is considered the father of Polish literature in 1562.

In the 18th century and later, the great national poets such as Ignacy Krasicki , Adam Mickiewicz , Juliusz Słowacki , Aleksander Fredro , Henryk Sienkiewicz and Bolesław Prus had a significant influence on the development of language awareness and the language of the Poles .

In Polish there are a number of loan words from Old Czech and Middle High German as well as Latin and Greek ; More recently, the Polish language has been influenced in particular by Italian , French , German , English , Ukrainian , Belarusian , Hungarian and Turkish , and a few from Russian and Yiddish . There is currently a particularly strong influence of English.

Old Polish language

Old Polish ( Język staropolski ) is the forerunner of Central Polish and was spoken between the 9th and 16th centuries. The biggest differences to today's Polish are the two tense forms aorist and imperfect . These disappeared between the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 15th century the third number, the dual , also disappeared .

In pronunciation, the sound value of the following letters has changed compared to today's (standard) Polish:

  • Ł ³ - as dark "l" ( [⁠ ɫ ⁠] pronounced).
  • À ± - as a nasal "a" ( [⁠ ã ⁠] pronounced), so today "a" with Ogonek .
  • Ó ó- was like a long "o" ([ o: ]) pronounced rather like today [⁠ u ⁠] .

Central Polish language

Central Polish ( Język średniopolski ) refers to the language level that was spoken between the 16th and 18th centuries. The alphabet proposed by Jan Kochanowski for Central Poland has 48 letters and is complete: a á à ą b b́ c ć ç d θ θ´ θ˙ é è ę fgh ch ijkl ł m ḿ n ń o ó p ṕ qr ŗ ſ σ ß tvw ẃ xyz ź ƶ (The letters ç, θ, θ´, θ˙, ŗ, σ and ß correspond in today's Polish language to cz , dz , , , rz , ś and sz .)

In this phase of the Polish language, the "inclined" vowels disappeared [⁠ ɑ ⁠] / [⁠ ɒ ⁠]  (a) [⁠ e ⁠]  (é) and [ o: ] (ó). Since the 17th and 18th centuries the ą has been spoken again like a nasalized "o" [ ɔ̃ ].


Knowledge of Polish in Europe

With 38 million speakers in Poland, 2 million in Europe outside Poland and around 8 million native speakers outside Europe, the Polish language is one of the 25 largest languages ​​in the world.


Polish is the national language of Poland and one of the official languages ​​of the European Union . The relative homogeneity of the population in Poland is the reason why Polish is spoken by almost all citizens there. In the neighboring states of Poland, especially in former Polish areas, the language is used by minorities. Polish is recognized as a minority language in Lithuania , Romania , Slovakia , the Czech Republic and Ukraine . The spread of Polish is outstanding in Lithuania, where the Poles make up the largest minority with 6.3% of the population . In and around the capital Vilnius, with its Polish-Lithuanian past, the number of Polish speakers is particularly high, in some cases they even make up the absolute majority. In this context, Lithuanian Polish is commonly spoken of, which is a variety of High Polish. In Belarus , the Polish-speaking population is mainly found in the Grodno area . In today's Ukraine, this is particularly represented in the city of Lviv , which was ceded by Poland after the Second World War , where the characteristic Lviv coloring of Polish is still used today. Smaller concentrations of Polish speakers can also be found in Russia .

In addition to the current expansion due to territorial history, there is also the fact that many Poles brought their language to other European countries as emigrants. In Europe, the absolute largest numbers of speakers can be found in descending order in Germany , Great Britain and France . Many Poles (the Ruhr Poles ) settled in the Ruhr area as early as the end of the 19th century , and further waves of immigration followed in the second half of the 20th century . Around 1.5 million people in Germany have a Polish migration background, the majority of whom speak the Polish language. Lately the Polish-speaking community has been growing especially in Northern Europe and Scandinavia . In Iceland and Norway , the Poles are the largest in Ireland , the second largest and in Sweden 's third largest minority in the country (as of 2012). In England and Wales , according to a 2011 census, Polish was the second most widely spoken first language after English, with over half a million speakers . It is one of the five most widely spoken mother tongues in the European Union.

America, Australia and Asia

In the United States , larger numbers of Polish speakers are found in the states of Illinois , Michigan , New York, and New Jersey . In addition to New York City , the area around Chicago forms a kind of center of the Polish diaspora . Of the estimated ten million Polish Americans , Americans of Polish origin, less than one million speak the Polish language according to the US census. In Canada , Polish-speaking communities can be found in Ontario , particularly in Toronto . There are also a large number of Polish speakers in the southern Brazilian states of Paraná and São Paulo , especially in the city of Curitiba . In addition, Polish is mainly spoken by emigrants and their descendants in Argentina , Australia and Israel .

Polish as a foreign language

In Germany, Polish is offered as a regular school subject in Berlin , Brandenburg , Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , although it is mostly taught in the border region with Poland. In German-speaking countries, the Polish Studies or Polish Studies course is offered as a specialization within Slavic studies at some universities, such as the University of Vienna , the University of Zurich , the University of Potsdam , the Ruhr University Bochum or the Friedrich Schiller University Jena .


Division according to the Polish linguist Stanisław Urbańczyk (1909-2001)

According to the Polish linguist Stanisław Urbańczyk, six dialects can be distinguished that are widespread in today's Poland, whereby Kashubian is now officially regarded and taught as an independent language within Lechic . Some speakers of Silesian are also hoping for this status . The social role of dialects in general is mostly limited to communication within the family and to the stylization of literary texts. In Silesia or Kashubia, on the other hand, the respective dialect or dialect is often cultivated and used for cultural identification.

  • Wielkopolska dialect ( dialekt wielkopolski ) - spoken in central-western and northern Poland in the areas around Poznan and Bromberg up to the mouth of the Vistula.
  • Lesser Poland dialect ( dialekt małopolski ) - spoken in the south and south-east of the country.
  • Mazovian dialect ( dialekt mazowiecki ) - spoken in the capital area around Warsaw and in the north-east of the country.
  • (New) mixed dialects ( dialekty mieszane ) - spoken in the west and north-west of the country and in Masuria . Until the Second World War , a comparatively small proportion of the population of Polish native speakers lived in these areas. The German-speaking majority of the population expelled in the aftermath of the war was replaced after the war by newcomers from different parts of Poland (including from the former Polish eastern regions ), so that one cannot speak of an ancestral local dialect.
  • Silesian dialect ( dialekt śląski ) - spoken in the Upper Silesia region.
  • Kashubian language ( Język kaszubski, dialect kaszubski ) - spoken in the greater Gdańsk area .


The Polish alphabet

Polish has been written with the Latin alphabet since its inception and uses diacritical marks to represent Polish sounds .

The Polish alphabet consists of 32 letters and reads completely:

A , Ą , B , C , Ć , D , E , Ę , F , G , H , I , J , K , L , Ł , M , N , Ń , O , Ó , P , R , S , Ś , T , U , W , Y , Z , Ź , Ż .

Ą, Ę, Ń and Y never appear at the beginning of a word (Y in foreign words), so the corresponding capital letters are very rare and only used when the whole word is capitalized. In addition, the letters Q, V and X are only used in foreign words or in formations that are to be associated with foreign words.



Polish has nine monophthongs .

Front vowels Central vowels Back vowels
Closed vowels
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
ɛ • ɛ̃
ɔ • ɔ̃
e 1
1 allophone from ɛ in a palatalized setting
almost closed
half closed
half open
almost open

The nasalized vowels [ɛ̃] and [ɔ̃] have a strong tendency to diphthong (towards [ɛ̃ɯ̃] and [ɔ̃ũ]). The vowels are pronounced equally long and clearly, whether in a stressed or unstressed syllable; Polish does not recognize reduced vowels or murmurs. In Polish, the word accent is on the penultimate syllable ( panultima ), but this may differ in the case of foreign words and prepositional phrases spoken in conjunction.

Consonants and semi-vowels

Polish has 29  consonant phonemes and two semi-vowels , i.e. H. Approximants . Together with the dialect variants, Polish has 35 consonantic phonemes.

Articulation place labial Coronal Dorsal -
Articulation type ↓ Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-palatal Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasals    m    n    ɲ ŋ
Occlusive pb td (c ɟ) kg
Fricatives fv sz ʂ ʐ ɕ ʑ (ç) x ʁ 1 (ɦ)
Affricata d͡z t͡s t͡ʂ d͡ʐ t̠͡ɕ d̠͡ʑ
Approximants    j    w
Trills    r̥ 1 r
Lateral fricative    (ɬ)
Lateral approximant    l   (ʎ)
1 Allophones in consonant clusters
Sounds in brackets are dialectal variants


Polish has a very free word order , with a tendency towards verb secondisation .

There are two numbers:

Until around the 16th century, Polish had three numbers: singular, dual , plural. References to the historical dual can still be found in the vocabulary today (for example, with body parts that occur in pairs). See nominative singular ręka ("hand"), nominative plural ręce . Today's plural is a historical dual. In the respective word, the actual dual is only retained in the instrumental ; in all other cases, dual and plural are the same. See singular instrumental: ręką , dual instrumental: rękoma , plural instrumental: rękami .

In general, in Polish grammar, as in German, there are three genera :

Due to the expansion of the animation category , which leads to different schemes according to which cases in the singular and plural coincide, one has to distinguish three different categories in the masculine (inanimate, animate and persons), so that modern grammars distinguish up to five genera. The difference lies in the alignment of the accusative to the nominative or the genitive as well as in special forms for the nominative plural in male persons, here using the example of a congruent adjective ( nowy , "new"):

designation Scope group Example word Acc. Sg. Nom. Pl. Acc. Pl.
personal masculine
( rodzaj męski osobowy )
males nauczyciel ("teacher") now ego

= Gen. Sg.

now i now ych

= Gen. Pl.

animate nonpersonal masculine
( rodzaj męski żywotny nieosobowy )
Animals of the male sex, coll. Also objects ptak ("bird") now e

= Nom. Pl.

inanimate masculine
( rodzaj męski nieżywotny )
Objects stół ("table") now y (st ó ł)

= Nom. Sg.

( rodzaj żeński )
female persons and animals, objects książka ("book") now ą
( rodzaj nijaki )
Objects, children, young animals okno ("window") now e

Polish has a distinct system of forms and has retained the original Slavonic case system: six cases for nouns, pronouns and adjectives and a seventh case for nouns, the vocative , which is used in polite, direct address.

The nominative is typically the subject case , the genitive case is the possessive case and the case of the direct object in sentences with negative (for example: “I don't know the person”. Quotation from the Luther Bible); the dative is the case of the indirect object and the accusative of the direct object. Genitive, dative and accusative can also be used with some prepositions. The instrumental is mainly used with prepositions , except when it indicates the instrument. See: Latin ablativus instrumentalis te defendo gladio  - bronię cię mieczem ("I defend you with the sword"), where -em is the instrumental ending in miecz ("sword"). The locative is only used with prepositions. As in German, some prepositions result in several cases, depending on whether they express a static state (“the birds are silent in the forest”) or a movement (“comes into the forest!”).

Case ( przypadek ) question ( pytanie ) example
( Mianownik )
who? What? kto? co? Jan Kowalski
( Dopełniacz )
whose? kogo? czego? Jana Kowalskiego
( Celownik )
whom? komu? czemu? Janowi Kowalskiemu
( Biernik )
whom? What? kogo? co? Jana Kowalskiego
( Narzędnik )
with who? by which? (z) kim? (z) czym? (z) Janem Kowalskim
( Miejscownik )
about who? about what? o kim? o czym? (o) Janie Kowalskim
( Wołacz )
(Form of address) O! Janie Kowalski!

In Polish nouns  - in contrast to German - are generally written in lower case, with the exception of the beginning of sentences and proper names . A distinction is made between animate and inanimate nouns and, within the animate, personal and non-personal ones. This is relevant for the declination of the masculine.

Almost all adjectives are declined according to a basic pattern. There are two types of adjectives:

  • Soft people: They end in a soft consonant or on k or g and have the masculine nominative ending -i .
  • Hard-stocked (all others): They have the ending -y .

Verbs by person, number and gender inflected . Like Russian and most other Slavic languages, Polish has a complex system of aspects . The tense system, on the other hand, has been simplified by giving up three tenses - aorist , imperfect and past perfect  . The past tense is thus the only remaining past tense. Occasionally one still comes across the past perfect, especially in written language, even if it is considered obsolete.

Prepositions are immutable and, together with a noun or a pronoun, form a unit of meaning.

Female names

Function and job titles

The formation of feminine forms of functional and occupational names ( movement ) plays a lesser role in Polish than in German. Although feminine equivalents can usually be formed with suffixes such as -ka , they are much less common. For example, słuchacz (“listener”) can be combined with the feminine form słuchaczka (“listener”), but many native speakers perceive expressions such as Drodzy słuchacze, drogie słuchaczki (“dear listener, dear listeners”) as artificial or pedantic and use them here the masculine form słuchacz as a generic masculine .

The same applies to feminine terms for higher positions such as dyrektor , profesor or psychologist . A director is more likely to be addressed as pani dyrektor or pani profesor ("Frau Director", "Frau Professor"). In this usage the title is not inflected. The female forms can be found in everyday language, however, in some cases (like policjantka or sekretarka ) they are also common.

Surname forms

A peculiarity of Polish are feminine forms of surnames. If the father's name is Suchocki , his wife and daughter are called Suchocka , not Suchocki . In the past it was also customary to create female variants of other male surnames in addition to those with -ski and -cki . For example, surnames that were adjectives in form were given the feminine ending -a in the nominative singular instead of the masculine ending -y . The wife or daughter of a Mr. Suchy or Chudy was then called Sucha , Chuda . All other surnames were given the suffix -owa or -yna (for married women) and -ówna or -anka (for unmarried women). The father was called Łasiewicz , the wife Łasiewiczowa , the daughter Łasiewiczówna . The father was called Skarga , the wife Skarżyna (with a phonological mutation of the last trunk consonant) and the daughter Skarżanka .

This custom is gradually dwindling and is no longer official, so its use fluctuates. Older women still like to use their feminine name (also in the Miss form, such as Anna Świderkówna ). This decline in the suffix feminization of surnames is practical on the one hand, but on the other hand it is accompanied by a certain disadvantage, because the systematic constraint of Polish grammar requires that non-feminized, masculine (in the grammatical sense) -sounding surnames of women are not inflected or in all cases remain endless. "The postulates of Ms. Steinbach" is then postulaty pani Steinbach in Polish , not Steinbacha (with the regular masculine genitive ending -a ). Consequently - if you have a colleague named Chudy  - you also have to say dokumenty od pani Chudy , even if you don't usually call her "Frau Chudy", but simply Chudy (for example: "The Chudy"), as dokumenty od Chudy sounds absolutely unacceptable ( "Ms. / the Chudy's documents"). In such cases, the old custom often returns and one says dokumenty od Chudej , with the feminine genitive ending -ej , as if the name of the colleague was not Chudy , but traditionally Chuda .

Speech dynamics

Current language change

Like every living language, Polish has been subject to certain developments and influences over time, both in terms of grammar and vocabulary. Some changes become an integral part of the language, others leave little change or are forgotten.

A change that can currently be observed is that the masculine "inanimate" form is being replaced by the masculine "animate" form. Many words that were previously regarded as clearly inanimate are seen as animate in colloquial language and especially in youth language . This is expressed by the fact that the accusative resembles the genitive and not, as before, the nominative. Often (still in colloquial language) forms are mieć pomysł a (“have an idea”) or obejrzeć film a (“watch a film”).
But most neologisms and foreign words that refer to non-material or imperceptible terms also take on the masculine, animated factual form in the official language. Example: dostać e-mail a / SMS a (“get an e-mail / SMS ”).
More and more words are being borrowed from English. At the same time, many French and Russian foreign words are disappearing. One phenomenon is the change in some French foreign words from French to English pronunciation, e.g. B. image is pronounced imidż as in English and no longer imaż as in French .
In the last few years, some previously vulgar expressions have flowed into everyday language; z. B. the adjective zajebisty went through a comparable development as the German "geil". On the other hand, in the context of political correctness, some words are perceived as more offensive than before. For example, today it is no longer appropriate to use pedał ("gay") (except in the meaning of "pedal"), the word gej (from English gay ) or homoseksualista ("homosexual") have replaced it.
Since words are increasingly being borrowed from English with a correspondingly different linguistic structure, phonetic connections that were previously seldom found are spreading. So now z. B. i after alveolar sounds t , d , s , z , r (see tir , didżej , ring ).
Dialect structure
The dialects of the Polish language are becoming increasingly unified in connection with the resettlement of the population after the Second World War, urbanization and the (standard language) influences of the mass media and education. The dialects are hardly pronounced among the younger generation, with the exception of the Goral and Silesian dialects, which are currently not threatened with extinction. Most of them speak standard Polish as their mother tongue.

Influence of Polish in German

Only relatively few Polish words have been adopted into German. Examples:

  1. "Border", which has its origin in the 12./13. Graniza / graenizen / greniz , which was borrowed from Old Polish in the 19th century , gradually reached the German-speaking area from the eastern colonization areas and replaced the Franconian word Mark .
  2. "Gurke" was taken from Polish ( ogórek ) into German. (The origin, however, is Middle Greek αγγούρι (ο) ν angouri (o) n , which is derived from the ancient Greek ἄωρος aōros "immature".)
  3. “Saber” ( szabla ) came from Polish into German, as did names of some bird species, for example goldfinch ( szczygieł ).
  4. The German exclamation “Dalli!” Goes back to the Polish dalej (“weiter”, “vorwärts!”).
  5. The German slang word "Penunze" is taken from a Polish dialect in which pieniądze is not pronounced [ pʲɛ'ɲɔndzɛ ], but with u instead of ɔ . ( pieniądze also has the same origins as penny and penny .)
  6. In the Ruhr area ( Ruhr German ) the originally Polish word "Mottek" ( młotek ) is used for a hammer, an old woman is called "Matka" ( matka , "mother"). In the youth language, money is sometimes also used for money, in Polish the currency is złoty (the “golden one”).
  7. In the past , when you went to “have a splash” ( pić , “drink”), you usually meant having a coffee. However, this phrase is out of date and is being reoccupied in youth language. Now one goes to consume alcoholic beverages, whereby “a splash” means as much as “get drunk”.
  8. In Eastern Austria, the school grade 5 (“insufficient”) is sometimes referred to as “pintsch” (from pięć , “five”).
  9. For the diacritical mark , which is used in the Polish alphabet to denote the nasals, the term Ogonek is also occasionally used in German texts .
  10. In the German rap scene, the expression “lellek” (goat milker) has found an insult.

Words borrowed from German in Polish

In the Middle Ages in particular, during the course of the German settlement in the east, there was intensive neighborly contact between Poles and Germans or Austrians, not only in the later German eastern regions , but also in central Poland, where important German minorities lived in the cities for many centuries (e B. in Krakow ). Germans played an important role in the founding of many cities in East Central Europe, and many cities received Magdeburg law after they were founded . During this time, many German words found their way into Polish ( Germanisms ) , especially in the areas of building trade, economy and administration . A second phase of later influence existed in the period of the Polish partitions 1772-1918, when large parts of Poland were under Prussian-German or Austrian rule. To this day, other words are used.

List of German loan words in Polish (selection):

  • barwa - color ( Middle High German  "varwe" )
  • bawełna - cotton
  • blacha - sheet metal
  • blat - sheet, plate
  • brytfanna - frying pan
  • burmistrz - mayor
  • cegła - brick
  • cukier - sugar
  • cel - goal
  • cela - cell
  • chata - hut
  • cyferblat - dial
  • cytryna - lemon
  • roof - roof
  • dekiel - cover
  • drukować - print, press
  • drut - wire
  • fold - Trade
  • fajerwerk - fireworks
  • fajnie - fine, great ( adv. )
  • fajrant - after work
  • fałda - fold
  • fałsz - wrong, lie
  • farba - color (liquid)
  • felga - rim
  • filc - felt
  • flaszka - bottle (coll.)
  • flauta - lull
  • frajda - joy
  • frajer - suitor
  • fryzjer - hairdresser
  • fuga - joint (space)
  • furman - coachman (from "Fuhrmann")
  • futerał - sheath
  • It doesn't matter - it doesn't matter
  • ganek - gear, studs
  • gaz - gas
  • geszeft - business (negotiation)
  • gmina - community
  • grat - device
  • gruby - coarse, thick
  • grunt - ground, ground
  • gwałt - violence
  • gwint thread
  • haftować - staple, embroider
  • hak - hook
  • hala - hall
  • trade - trade
  • lever - planer
  • holować - drag (from "fetch")
  • huta - hut (industrial plant)
  • jarmark - fair
  • cable - cable
  • kac - kitty, hangover (malaise)
  • kajuta - cabin
  • kanclerz - Chancellor
  • edge - edge
  • capsule - capsule
  • karta - card, ID card
  • kartofel - potato (coll.)
  • kasa - cash register
  • komin - fireplace
  • kelner - waiter
  • kielich - chalice
  • kielnia - ladle
  • kiermasz - fair, market
  • kicz - kitsch
  • cinema - cinema
  • kit - putty
  • klej - glue
  • Kleks - blob
  • klejnot - gem
  • knajpa - pub
  • kształt - shape
  • kubeł - bucket
  • kula - sphere
  • buddy - buddy
  • kunszt - art
  • spa - spa town
  • kuśnierz - furrier
  • lada - counter
  • ląd - land
  • luka - gap
  • luz - loose, nonchalance
  • luzem - lose (adv.), with ease
  • ładować - store
  • majstersztyk - masterpiece
  • malować - paint
  • marszruta - march route
  • mistrz also majster - master
  • obcas - (shoe) heel
  • ofiara - victim
  • pakować - pack
  • parkować - parking
  • pitch - pitch
  • pielęgnować - maintain
  • plac - place
  • plajta - bankruptcy
  • próbować - (trying) out
  • przeflancować - plants
  • rabować - rob
  • radzić - guess
  • rajzefiber - travel bug
  • ratować - save
  • ratusz - town hall ( Middle High German  "rathus" )
  • realpolityka - realpolitik
  • regał - shelf
  • rentgen - X-ray
  • rudel - pack
  • rura - pipe, tube
  • rycerz - knight
  • rygiel - bolt
  • rynek - (market) place (from "ring")
  • rynna - (roof) gutter
  • rynsztok - gutter, gutter
  • smak - taste
  • smar - dope
  • sołtys - mayor
  • spichlerz - memory
  • stamp - stamp
  • szacować - appreciate
  • szacunek - (value) appraisal
  • szajs - shit (coll.)
  • szalunek - cladding
  • szkic - sketch
  • szlaban - turnpike
    • mieć szlaban - to have house or room arrest
  • szlafrok - bathrobe (from "Schlafrock")
  • szlagier - hits
  • szlak - blow
  • szlam - mud
  • szlif - cut
  • szlochać - sob
  • szlus - end (exclamation)
  • sznurek - cord
  • szpachla - spatula
  • szpadel - spade
  • szpilka - tip
  • szpital - hospital, hospital
  • szprycha - spoke
  • szrot - scrap
  • sztab - stick
  • sztafeta - relay
  • sztorm - (sea) storm
  • sztuka - piece, art
  • sztywny - stiff
  • szuflada - drawer
  • szwagier - brother-in-law
  • szwindel - dizziness
  • szyba - disk
  • szyberdach - sunroof
  • szyld - shield
  • szyna - rail, track (pl.)
  • szynka - ham
  • śruba - screw
  • tafla - board, surface
  • taniec - dance
  • tankować - refuel
  • talerz - plate
  • trafiać - meeting
  • tygiel - crucible
  • urlop - vacation
  • wagon - wagon, wagon
  • walać - to roll around
  • walc - waltz
  • wanna - tub
  • warsztat - workshop
  • wait - worth it
  • wata - cotton wool
  • weksel - change
  • wihajster - Dingsda (from "What's his name?")
  • wójt - Vogt
  • wrak - wreck
  • wyklarować - explain
  • wytrych - Dietrich
  • żołd - pay
  • żołnierz , derogatory żołdak - soldier, mercenary

Influences of other languages

In the 16th century, the influences of Italian and French increased and lasted until the end of the 19th century.

From the second half of the 20th century, English dominated, which is particularly evident in the fields of technology and science, business, sport, leisure and everyday life.

Language example

General Declaration of Human Rights :

Wszyscy ludzie rodzą się wolni i równi pod furthermore swej godności i swych praw. Są oni obdarzeni rozumem i sumieniem i powinni postępować wobec innych w duchu braterstwa.
[ ˈFʂɨsʈ͡sɨ ˈluʥɛ ˈrɔdzɔ̃ ɕɛ ˈvɔlɲi i ˈruvɲi pod‿ˈvzleɛndɛm sfɛj gɔdˈnɔɕt̠͡ɕi i sfɨx praf # sɔ̃ ˈɔɲi ɔbdaˈʐɛɲi rɔˈzumɛm i suˈmʲeɛɛ͡ pɔvint ] bramʲem pɔvʲfain
All people are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should meet one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also


  • Jan Mazur: History of the Polish Language . Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1993. ISBN 3-631-45821-5 .
  • Peter Rehder (Ed.): Introduction to the Slavic languages . 3rd edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1998. pp. 145–164. ISBN 3-534-13647-0 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Polish  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: Polish  - learning and teaching materials
Commons : Polish language  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Polish Dictionaries  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. a b Walery Pisarek (German translation by Andreas W. Meger): Polish - Brochure of the Rada Języka Polskiego , (PDF file; 975 kB, accessed on February 12, 2016)
  2. "Världens 100 största språk 2010" (The 100 most widely spoken languages ​​in the world 2010) . In: Swedish National Encyclopedia Nationalencyklopedin . tape 35 . Stockholm 2010, ISBN 978-91-86365-26-4 .
  3. Język gęsi: A niechaj narodowie wżdy postronni znają, iż Polacy nie gęsi, iż swój język mają. Broadcast on Polskie Radio 3
  4. ^ Polish , The Council for the Polish Language, ISBN 978-83-916268-2-5 , p. 7
  5. Nowy karakter Polski: z drukarnie Lazarzowey y ortographia polska Iana Kochanowskiego, Ie MP Lukasza Gornickiego etc. etc. etc. na stronie Polskiej Biblioteki Internetowej
  6. ^ Polish , The Council for the Polish Language, ISBN 978-83-916268-2-5 , p. 1
  7. See: Regional and Minority Languages ​​in Europe
  8. European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
  9. Database query, February 16, 2009 ( Memento of the original from February 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / db1.stat.gov.lt
  10. Population with a migration background - Results of the microcensus - Fachserie 1 Reihe 2.2 - 2013 , p. 148. (PDF, 7 MB), accessed on January 26, 2015.
  11. People from Poland 'will be heard' ( Memento from February 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), report on Newsinenglish.no from January 13, 2012.
  12. ^ Assessing Immigrant Integration in Sweden after the May 2013 Riots , Migration Policy Institute; accessed on May 31, 2016.
  13. ^ Robert Booth: Polish becomes England's second language. In: The Guardian . January 30, 2013, accessed February 3, 2013 .
  14. Eurobarometer (2006): Europeans and their Languages (PDF; 6.8 MB), accessed on April 29, 2015.
  15. ^ New York Dethrones Chicago as the 'Largest Polish City' Outside of Warsaw , Voices of NY, February 23, 2012; Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  16. 7 Most Polish Cities Outside of Poland , on culture.pl of October 22, 2015; Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  17. Framework curricula Berlin-Brandenburg , accessed on November 10, 2018.
  18. Władysław Lubaś, Jerzy Molas: Entry on the Polish language in the Encyclopedia of the European East ( Memento from March 20, 2017 in the Internet Archive ), p. 370/371 (PDF; 673 kB), accessed on February 12, 2016.
  19. Language of the month: Polish , on SprachenNetz.org (January 2014), accessed on October 21, 2016.
  20. PONS dictionary of youth language
  21. What is a Lellek? Meaning simply explained. August 15, 2018, accessed July 10, 2020 .
  22. Ryszard Lipczuk: German loans in Polish - history, subject areas, reactions . In: Linguistics Online . tape 8 , no. 1 , 2001, p. 1–15 , doi : 10.13092 / lo.8.976 ( bop.unibe.ch [accessed on April 13, 2020]).
  23. ^ Polish , The Council for the Polish Language, ISBN 978-83-916268-2-5 , p. 8
  24. ^ Dictionary of German loan words in the Polish written and standard language: Introduction - University of Oldenburg.
  25. ^ Dictionary of German loanwords in the Polish written and standard language - University of Oldenburg.
  26. ^ Polish , The Council for the Polish Language, ISBN 978-83-916268-2-5 , p. 8